Acceptance and Classification
Once the RFC has been recorded a preliminary assessment needs to be made of its importance. An RFC may simply be rejected if it is felt that the change is not justified or the originator may be asked to modify it if it could be improved in some way or certain issues defined more clearly. In any event, the RFC must be returned to the person or department making the request in order for them to offer new justifications in favour of their RFC or in order to modify it if necessary.
Accepting the change does not mean that it will subsequently be approved by the CAB. It is merely an indication that it is sufficiently justified to be given further consideration.
After it has been accepted the RFC should be assigned a priority and category depending on its urgency and impact.
The priority will determine the relative importance of the RFC in relation to other outstanding RFCs and it will be the main item of data on the basis of which pending changes are scheduled.
The category determines the difficulty and impact of the RFC and will be the main parameter used to determine the resources that need to be allocated, the envisaged deadlines and the level of authorisation needed before the change can be implemented.
Although the range of possible priorities can be as wide as you like, the basic classification should include at least the following priority levels:
- Low: this change may be best made alongside others, such as when updating software packages, buying new hardware, etc.
- Normal: This change should be made provided it does not get in the way of another, higher priority, change.
- High: a change that should be made without delay, as it is associated with known errors that are significantly degrading service quality. The CAB should assess this change at its next meeting and take the relevant measures to enable a rapid solution.
- Urgent: this problem has to be solved as it is causing an interruption or serious degradation to service. An urgent change triggers the so-called emergency change process, which we will deal with separately.
The category is determined based on the impact on the organisation and the effort required to implement the change. The range of possibilities includes everything from changes which barely require the involvement of IT personnel and which hardly affect the quality of service, through to changes requiring a lot of resources and the direct approval of top management.
Minor changes may not need the approval of the CAB and may be implemented directly. Any other changes need to be discussed by the CAB and it will be necessary to ask for the collaboration of specialist personnel to act in an advisory role.